Thursday, February 05, 2009

What is Brendan Short reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Brendan Short, author of the recently released Dream City, his first novel.

His entry begins:
I haven’t done the research, or even asked around, but I assume that many first-time novelists hit a period shortly after publication when they feel disoriented. The reviews have been written, the Amazon sales rank starts to rise, and the artistic impulse, after a scramble through the publishing world, emerges weary and timid. At least that is where I find myself—and why I have been drawn to spiritual books lately.

First, I recently finished Acedia & Me: Marriage, Monks and a Writer’s Life, by Kathleen Norris. This ambitious theological memoir tackles the concept of acedia—a kind of soul-weariness—which was recognized as a grave spiritual threat by early Christian contemplatives, but which now is largely seen as indistinct from depression. The prose glides beautifully from scholarship to reflection to moving personal narrative, an appropriately fluid structure given the stealth nature of acedia. It took Norris a long time to write the book, and I’m sure most readers will feel grateful that she stuck with it. I know I did.[read on]
Brendan Short holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. His fiction has appeared in several literary journals, including The Literary Review and River Styx, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. From 2000 to 2001 he was Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about Dream City and its author at Brendan Short's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dream City.

Writers Read: Brendan Short.

--Marshal Zeringue